Do You Pick a Job at MEPS? A Guide to Military Career Choices

by | Joining the Military | 1 comment

Thinking about joining the military but unsure how job selection works at the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS)? You’re not alone. Many recruits wonder if they get to pick their job or if it’s assigned to them. Understanding the process can help you make informed decisions and set realistic expectations.

At MEPS, you’ll undergo a series of tests and evaluations that determine your qualifications for various military roles. While you might have some say in your job selection, several factors like your ASVAB scores, physical fitness, and available positions play crucial roles. Knowing what to expect can give you an edge in exploring this pivotal step in your military career.

Understanding MEPS: What It Is and Its Purpose

Understanding MEPS is essential for anyone considering a military career. MEPS, short for Military Entrance Processing Station, plays a vital role in the military enrollment process.

What Is MEPS?

MEPS, or Military Entrance Processing Station, is where military applicants undergo evaluations. It verifies your qualifications, ensuring you’re fit for service. MEPS determines your physical, mental, and moral standards.

The Role of MEPS in Military Enrollment

MEPS evaluates applicants in several ways. These include medical exams, ASVAB testing, and background checks. The assessments ensure you meet the specific requirements of the branch you’re joining.

  • Medical Exams: Check for physical fitness and conditions that could disqualify you.
  • ASVAB Testing: Measures your skills and aptitudes, impacting job eligibility.
  • Background Checks: Verify legal and moral standards for military service.

MEPS also helps assign jobs based on scores and physical capabilities. Your available positions depend on testing results and current openings within the military.

The Process of Job Selection at MEPS

At MEPS, your journey to choose a job in the military involves several steps. It’s essential to understand how these steps align with your career goals.

Assessing Eligibility for Different Military Roles

First, your eligibility for various military roles is assessed based on multiple criteria. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) test results significantly influence this process. Higher scores on the ASVAB open doors to a broader range of specialties. But, job availability also plays a vital role. For example, if medical roles are needed but you’ve scored well in technical fields, you might not get your first choice.

Next, physical fitness evaluations determine if you meet the physical requirements for specific jobs. Some roles demand higher fitness levels. For instance, combat positions require rigorous fitness standards compared to administrative roles.

Finally, your medical examination ensures you don’t have conditions that would disqualify you from particular jobs. This step is crucial, especially for roles with strict medical standards, like aviation or submariner positions.

How Jobs Are Offered During the MEPS Visit

During your MEPS visit, job offers are made based on the aforementioned criteria. The military branches present available job options, prioritizing your ASVAB scores and fitness assessments. If specific jobs are in high demand, you’ll have the chance to select from those openings.

An example would be if there’s a shortage of cybersecurity experts, individuals who’ve excelled in related ASVAB sections and meet all other criteria may be directed towards these roles.

The job selection process is methodical. A career counselor guides you through the options, aligning your qualifications and preferences with available slots. If your preferred job isn’t available, you might wait or choose from current offerings.

Summarizing, the job selection process at MEPS ensures a match between your skills and the military’s needs, balancing personal aspirations with operational requirements. Each step, from ASVAB results to medical exams, plays a critical role in determining your military career path.

Factors Influencing Job Availability at MEPS

Several key factors determine the job availability at MEPS, impacting the career options available to each recruit. These elements ensure that military roles align with individual capabilities and the current needs of the service branches.

Influence of ASVAB Scores on Job Selection

Your ASVAB scores largely dictate the range of jobs you qualify for in the military. The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) assesses abilities in areas like arithmetic reasoning, word knowledge, paragraph comprehension, and mechanical comprehension. Higher scores on the ASVAB provide more job options. For instance, a high score in electronics information may qualify you for technical positions in communications or avionics.

Scoring well can open doors to specialized fields, but low scores might limit you to more general roles. Each job has a minimum ASVAB score requirement, matching the complexity and technical skill needed for that role. For example, jobs in intelligence or cybersecurity generally require higher scores compared to entry-level support positions.

Availability of Positions and Timing

Job availability at MEPS can vary based on current military needs and recruitment quotas. If certain jobs are in high demand due to operational requirements, there might be more slots available for those roles. Conversely, popular positions can fill up quickly, reducing the number of openings.

Timing also plays a significant role. Certain times of the year may see a surge in recruitment for specific roles, depending on upcoming missions or personnel cycles. If you visit MEPS when there’s a high demand for a particular job, your chances of securing that position increase. But, visiting MEPS during periods of low demand or after quotas are nearly filled may limit your options.

These factors work together to shape your career path in the military, balancing your qualifications and the needs of the service branches.

Preparing for a MEPS Visit

Getting ready for a visit to the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS) ensures a smooth and efficient experience. You can impress recruiters and streamline the enlistment process with optimal preparation.

What to Bring to MEPS

Ensure you gather essential documentation and personal items before heading to MEPS:

  • Valid IDs: Bring a government-issued ID and your Social Security card.
  • Medical Records: Present any medical records, prescriptions, and immunization records, particularly if you have a history of medical issues.
  • Educational Documents: Carry your high school diploma or equivalent, and any college transcripts.
  • Legal Documentation: Include any court documents or legal records if applicable.
  • Personal Items: Pack essentials like toiletries and extra clothes for an overnight stay.

Confirm all documents are current and accurate to avoid delays in processing.

Tips for Making the Most of Your MEPS Experience

Optimizing your MEPS visit maximizes your chances of enlisting successfully:

  • Rest Well: Get a good night’s sleep to be alert and prepared for assessments.
  • Follow Instructions: Listen carefully to staff instructions and complete tasks promptly.
  • Stay Calm: Maintain composure during medical and aptitude tests.
  • Be Honest: Provide accurate and truthful information in your interviews and forms.
  • Prepare Mentally and Physically: Review material related to the ASVAB and maintain good physical fitness to pass required exams.

Focus on these strategies to navigate MEPS efficiently and secure your desired military role.


Exploring the job selection process at MEPS can be challenging but understanding the key factors can make it manageable. Your ASVAB scores, physical fitness, and the availability of positions play significant roles in determining your military career options. By preparing thoroughly and following the tips provided, you can approach your MEPS visit with confidence. Remember to bring all necessary documents, stay calm, and be honest during evaluations. With the right preparation and mindset, you’ll be well on your way to securing the military role that best suits your skills and aspirations.


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